Your Guide to Birding

in Bent County

County Map Bent County
Author(s):  Mark Peterson, Andrew Spencer
County Seat: Las Animas
Size: 1,517 square miles
Low Elevation: 3,665 ft. - Arkansas River on the Prowers border
High Elevation: 4,855 ft. - San Jose Ranch Mesa
Best Birds: Dusky-capped Flycatcher (1883), Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher (2002), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (2000)
Checklist: Bent County Checklist
Introduction: This is not just another square shaped eastern plains county. Bent County is arguably the best of the counties east of the mountains in both variety and quality of species that breed, migrate through, or winter here. For example, over 20 and sometimes over 30 species of warblers occur in the county every year, Greater Roadrunners and Black Rails breed within a couple of miles of each other, and just about every species of shorebird, wader, and waterbird that has been seen in the state has been seen somewhere in the county.

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Birding Sites

Fort Lyon Area
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Grassland/Prairie, Tamarisk
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Fort Lyon Canal
Habitat: Stream, Lowland Riparian
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Fort Lyon Wildlife Area
Habitat: Marsh, Grassland/Prairie
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John Martin Reservoir State Park
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Grassland/Prairie, Tamarisk
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Las Animas
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Park/Cemetery, Stream, Lowland Riparian
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Las Animas State Fishing Unit
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir
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Melody Tempel Grove
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Grassland/Prairie
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Setchfield State Wildlife Area
Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Rimrock/Mesa, Grassland/Prairie
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Shane's Place
Habitat: Marsh, Lowland Riparian, Grassland/Prairie
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Thomeczek's Wildlife Area and Campgrounds
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Lowland Riparian
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Verhoeff Reservoir
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh
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Wilson Ranch
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Mesa/Rimrock, Lowland Riparian
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Use the form on the home page to contact the editor with corrections or to volunteer to add a site.

eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Unusual Birds (eBird) in Bent County


CBRC Accepted Records from Bent County

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Surf Scoter2004-0795/1/2004
Black Scoter2001-13412/27/2001
Eurasian Collared-Dove2000-0714/21/2000
Black-billed Cuckoo2004-0425/7/2004
Lesser Nighthawk2017-022 05/05/2017
Lesser Nighthawk2019-036 3 May 2019 to 6 May.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird2016-074 09/14/2016
King Rail2001-171 5/22/2001
Black RailN-17-596/11/1975 to 6/25/1975
Black Rail17-94-215/7/1994
Black Rail17-95-255/12/1995 - 7/16/1995
Black Rail1998-039 9 May 1997 - 11 July 1997
Black Rail1998-0405/9/1998 - 5/13/1998
Hudsonian Godwit19-93-1145/21/1988
Hudsonian Godwit2015-050 05/04/2015
Ruddy Turnstone19-93-919/5/1993 - 9/19/1993
Ruddy Turnstone1997-0265/30/1997
Ruddy Turnstone1999-0388/14/1999
Ruddy Turnstone2000-0325/6/2000
Red Knot19-93-829/6/1993
Red Knot19-93-959/19/1993
Red Knot2000-0359/4/2000 - 9/10/2000
Red Knot2002-2033/24/2002
Red Knot2007-054 9/2/2007
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper2000-03610/3/2000 to 10/7/2000
Buff-breasted Sandpiper19-93-909/5/1993
Buff-breasted Sandpiper19-94-278/28/1994
Buff-breasted Sandpiper2007-065 9/13/2007
Red Phalarope21-90-205/31/1990 - 6/4/1990
Red Phalarope21-93-969/19/1993
Long-tailed Jaeger22-93-419/12/1993
Black-legged Kittiwake2000-0641/19/2000 - 1/22/2000
Laughing Gull1999-0527/6/1999
Laughing Gull2000-0477/7/2000
Laughing Gull2008-152 9/8/2008
Laughing Gull2009-057 7/25/2009
Short-billed Gull2008-141 12/16/2008
Lesser Black-backed Gull23-93-879/12/1993
Lesser Black-backed Gull23-95-415/24/1994
Glaucous-winged Gull2008-147 12/22/2008
Great Black-backed Gull23-89-213/22/1989
Great Black-backed Gull2001-15312/27/2001
Great Black-backed Gull2008-140 12/16/2008
Least Tern23-85-13 17 Jun 1985
Least Tern23-92-75 15 May 1992
Arctic Tern23-91-376/12/1991
Arctic Tern2014-141 09/17/2014
Arctic Tern2023-028 28 May 2023
Red-throated Loon1997-0045/10/1997
Red-throated Loon2000-0015/21/2000
Red-throated Loon2014-100 07/07/2012
Magnificent Frigatebird2020-073 5 Nov 2020
Neotropic Cormorant2001-0204/8/2001 - 4/9/2001
Neotropic Cormorant2005-112 10/30/2005
Neotropic Cormorant2009-056 7/18/2009 - 7/25/2009
Brown Pelican1999-0087/2/1999
Brown Pelican2016-027 04/23/2016
Least Bittern2000-0075/15/2000
Least Bittern2003-0445/3/2003 - 6/28/2003
Least Bittern2009-069 7/25/2009
Little Blue Heron2000-0085/10/2000
Tricolored Heron2001-0334/25/2001 - 5/2/2001
Tricolored Heron2013-171 06/22/2013
Reddish Egret5-91-95/27/1991
Reddish Egret2001-0777/20/2001
Reddish Egret2010-121 8/18/2010 - 10/7/2010
Reddish Egret2014-038 08/21/2013
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron2009-078 7/31/2009
White Ibis2001-0546/2/2001
White Ibis2018-072 08/28/2018
Glossy Ibis7-95-105/7/1995
Glossy Ibis2000-0164/16/2000
Glossy Ibis2005-033 4/30/2005
Glossy Ibis2008-037 4/30/2008
Glossy Ibis2008-039 4/30/2008
Black Vulture2004-0838/13/2002 - 8/14/2002
Snowy Owl2002-0131/16/2002
Snowy Owl2007-020 4/7/2007
Snowy Owl2012-070 2/4/2012
Crested Caracara2011-098 7/7/2011 - 7/9/2011
Dusky-capped Flycatcher1883-0025/11/1883
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher2002-0779/18/2002 - 9/19/2002
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher34-96-5010/5/1996
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher2006-032 4/16/2006
Eastern Wood-Pewee1999-0935/1/1999
Acadian Flycatcher2009-032 5/12/2009
Gray Flycatcher2011-041 5/1/2011
Vermilion Flycatcher34-94-475/13/1994
White-eyed Vireo1999-1015/8/1999
Yellow-throated Vireo1997-0725/3/1996
Yellow-throated Vireo1997-0775/14/1997
Yellow-throated Vireo1998-0965/1/1998
Yellow-throated Vireo2001-1214/22/2001
Blue-headed Vireo2010-126 10/8/2010
Philadelphia Vireo2000-10910/8/2000
Sedge Wren42-96-5411/2/1996
Sedge Wren2008-130 11/2/2008
Sedge Wren2016-100 11/12/2016
Gray-cheeked Thrush44-95-675/18/1995
Gray-cheeked Thrush1998-1055/9/1998
Gray-cheeked Thrush1998-1065/8/1998
Gray-cheeked Thrush2001-1515/3/2001
Gray-cheeked Thrush2011-079 6/4/2011
Gray-cheeked Thrush2013-140 05/10/2013
Swainson's Thrush (Russet-backed)2013-146 05/12/2013
Wood Thrush44-95-685/8/1995
Wood Thrush2003-010 
Wood Thrush2008-149 5/3/2008
Varied Thrush2002-20510/26/2002
Purple Finch56-95-10211/19/1995
Common Redpoll2004-091 11/20/2004
Common Redpoll2016-006 12/15/2015
Hoary Redpoll2013-071 1/21/2013
White-winged Crossbill2002-0261/4/2002
LeConte's Sparrow56-90-7312/2/1990 - 3/6/1991
LeConte's Sparrow56-91-8411/9/1991
LeConte's Sparrow2000-1542/3/2000 - 2/26/2000
LeConte's Sparrow2001-0821/15/2001
LeConte's Sparrow2002-11612/20/2002
LeConte's Sparrow2014-115 01/03/2003
LeConte's Sparrow2014-116 03/18/2004
Savannah Sparrow2001-0811/15/2001
Eastern Towhee2002-11512/20/2002 - 3/16/2003
Eastern Towhee2009-007 2/26/2009
Chihuahuan Meadowlark2016-061 06/27/2016
Eastern Meadowlark2017-008 02/05/2017
Worm-eating Warbler52-95-855/3/1995
Worm-eating Warbler1998-1345/8/1998
Worm-eating Warbler1999-1454/24/1999
Worm-eating Warbler2001-1234/22/2001
Worm-eating Warbler2019-060 28 Apr 2019
Worm-eating Warbler2023-030 3 May 2023
Blue-winged Warbler2000-1194/28/2000
Blue-winged Warbler2001-1224/22/2001
Blue-winged Warbler2001-1665/20/2001
Prothonotary Warbler2000-13410/8/2000
Prothonotary Warbler2005-048 5/14/2005
Prothonotary Warbler2006-20201 May 2006
Swainson's Warbler2014-109 05/05/2014
Connecticut Warbler52-90-645/24/1990
Mourning Warbler2000-1405/14/2000
Kentucky Warbler2004-0765/1/2004
Cape May Warbler2015-054 05/06/2015
Cape May Warbler2020-078 6 May 2020
Bay-breasted Warbler52-93-1185/21/1993
Blackburnian Warbler1997-0865/17/1997
Yellow-throated Warbler1998-1245/16/1998
Yellow-throated Warbler2001-0314/15/2001
Yellow-throated Warbler2008-047 5/3/2008
Prairie Warbler52-94-705/7/1994
Prairie Warbler1999-1409/19/1999
Prairie Warbler2000-1295/14/2000
Hermit Warbler52-96-735/17/1996
Hermit Warbler1999-1294/24-25/1999
Hermit Warbler2014-110 04/25/2014
Hermit Warbler2020-070 5 May 2020
Scarlet Tanager1998-1615/8/1998 - 5/9/1998
Painted Bunting56-80-45/22/1979
Painted Bunting56-96-985/12/1996
Painted Bunting1997-1055/17/1997
Painted Bunting2000-1605/7/2000